Solar Panels to Reduce Electricity Bills
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded nearly $78 million in contracts to build solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in support of ongoing energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced.
“With these investments in clean energy and other renewable energy projects for our medical centers and clinics, we are marching forward with the President’s initiative to ‘green’ the Federal government,” VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said. “The benefits of using solar power are significant, from our reduced utility bills to the quality of the air we breathe. This initiative is good for Veterans and good for our environment,” Shinseki said.
The VA will install, by fall 2011, the solar PV systems at hospitals, clinics and national cemeteries in a dozen particularly sunny locations, from Florida to California. The systems, in some cases, will produce up to 100 percent of the facility’s annual electricity usage. VA selected the sites based on feasibility studies that determined the most ideal locations to invest in on-site renewable energy projects.
VA’s goal is to increase renewable energy consumption to 15 percent of annual electricity usage by 2013. The installation of these 12 solar PV systems will help VA meet that goal.
Solar PV stations are slated for Salt Lake City; Miami; West Los Angeles; San Diego; Prescott, Ariz.; Tampa and Viera, Fla.; and in Dixon, Martinez, Menlo Park, Monterey, and Sepulveda, Calif.
VA had previously awarded solar PV systems at facilities in Phoenix; Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Ariz.; Dublin, Ga.; San Juan, P.R.; Calverton, N.Y.; Santa Nella, Calif.; and Riverside, Calif.